History | Eastern Europe under Communism: From the Iron Curtain to the Velvet Revolution
D330 | 26244 | M. Bucur-Deckard
Above class carries culture studies credit
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates only
The Communist experiment failed in Eastern Europe. But the history
of this experiment had a lasting impact on our contemporary world.
This course will take you through a journey that will uncover the
origins of communism in Eastern Europe, the early period of brutal
take-over and Stalinization, and the attempts to reform communism in
this area. Students will have a chance to “impersonate” (in)famous
historical actors, from Slobodan Milosevic and Bill Clinton to
Joseph Stalin and Jakub Berman during two in-class debates. The fall
of communism and the ensuing battles for privatization,
democratization, and the Wars in Yugoslavia will constitute the last
part of this course. We will look at both the political
institutions that shaped communist and post-communist eastern
Europe, as well as the important social and cultural developments
that took place during this period. We will read Mark
Pittaway, "Eastern Europe, 1939-2000," Gale Stokes, "From Stalinism
to Pluralism: A Documentary History of Eastern Europe Since 1945"
(selections), Milan Kundera, "The Joke," and Tsvetan
Todorov, "Voices from the Gulag" (selections), as well as watch
several films (feature and documentaries).
Requirements include a midterm (15%) and final examination (25%), 1
paper (15 %), and in-class participation (45%).